At the end of last week, a group of senior Conservative activists launched their ‘Yes to the Alternative Vote’ website: Conservative ‘Yes’. It gives some great reasons for voting Yes, which we should probably add to our Why Choose ‘Yes’ section, and include the following:
We already use AV and similar systems within the Party. Yet CCHQ is strangely determined to hold onto a system where in the last election was decided by fewer than 460,000 of voters – just 1.6% of the electorate.
The Conservative Party has always strongly believed in devolving power down to local people and in injecting Competition, Choice and Accountability into failing institutions.
Changing our electoral system to AV will ensure that there is more competition, resulting in less jobs for life, greater choice for voters and more accountable MPs who have to listen to the majority of their voters.
It also dispells a lot of the myths about the Alternative Vote (and FPTP) circulating at the moment. The campaign has had substantial support from activists including elected representatives at almost every level of government including Councillors, MEP’s, GLA members and former MP’s, PPC’s and sitting Peers.
We have been very pleased by the support we have had from senior Conservatives in the West Midlands, many of whom have spoken in favour of the Alternative Vote at our debates.
Sadly, the launch of the Conservative Yes campaign was followed by a personal attack on one of it’s lead campaigners, John Strafford, from No to AV. John spoke at our Warwick debate a few weeks ago – he is a very articulate, intelligent, reasonable individual, for whom I, personally, have a lot of respect. I know he has been a very active campaigner for the Conservative party for many, many years; and held positions at every level of the party, including former National Union Executive Committee member. I cannot understand why ‘No to AV’ would want go through his blog looking for dirt, completely unconnected to the campaign, rather than trying to discuss the issue at hand. Lets stick to the benefits for and against the ‘Alternative Vote’ and let the voters decide – we certainly find that, once people understand both sides, they see the real benefits to the electorate in changing the way we vote.
To highlight the point, here is John speaking at our Warwick debate: